First step to start the project you always wished for

This article was published on 16 April 2020 on Corriere di Malta newspaper

First step to start the project you always wished for

Public funds available for consultancy and website development costs

In last week’s article, we highlighted the importance of taking advantage of this period in which economic activities are stuck or are suffering, to reflect and prepare well for the restart that could already occur in a few months.

We have underlined how it can be useful to rethink your business and maybe reinvent yourself since the world has suddenly changed.

New needs are emerging, consumers’ needs are different, habits are changing, perhaps we will use other suppliers, we will have to look for new reference countries, change the ways we relate and do business.

In all this, however, opportunities for new products and services may arise.

Today we will focus on some government funds co-financed by the European Union that can partially reimburse the expenses for the preparation of a solid business plan or for the creation of a new website or for implementation of the existing one.

Because liquidity is fundamental for any company, bank loans at a very low rate and backed up by public guarantee have already been made available. But this is not enough. It could help any company even more to take advantage of non-refundable benefits, but in order to obtain them it is necessary to wait for months and therefore it is advisable to anticipate the need well in advance.

The Government of Malta, for example, provides funds co-financed by the European Union to cover consultancy expenses for an amount equal to 80% of the related cost corresponding to a contribution of 4,000 euros Such funds could be used for the following activities:

  • The development of a business plan;
  • The realisation of a feasibility study;
  • The corporate reorganisation; or
  • The review of internal processes and systems.

To obtain the reimbursement of such expenses, it is necessary to submit and sign a contribution application by accessing an online platform and by attaching the required documentation. The business plan must be developed by an external consultancy company included in the list of authorised intermediaries. Sheltons Malta, the company through which we operate, is one of them.

Another investment that could not have a major financial impact on a company is the creation or implementation of an e-commerce site.

At this point, in time when companies are faced with a fast changing reality, with new ways of selling, delivering products/services and making payments, a powerful e-commerce site becomes really important to serve consumers who are getting more and more used to shopping online and want to have everything delivered at home.

In this case too, the Government intervenes with public funds to partially cover costs.

This is not a new measure, it was created a few years ago with the aim of supporting companies in developing their presence on existing and new markets.

Today more than ever this financial tool can be useful to allow a company to operate anew in now closed or obsolete markets, due to the current deadlock, and therefore allow to seize opportunities that were not previously considered at all.

In this case, the costs can be covered up to 50% and up to an amount of 5,000 euros. The contribution bears the costs of creating, developing and implementing an e-commerce site and/or mobile applications. Besides it also finances the cost of implementing an existing website or creating applications capable of managing online sales and bookings. Costs for the creation of online payment systems are also included.

If you wish to have further information or assistance to prepare a plan or submit a contribution application, we are available to help you.

Stefano De Stalis
European Affairs and State Aid Manager
Sheltons Malta